Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 4:45 pm, 20th January 2009

I confirm the noble Baroness's suspicions about my numeracy. I do not have in my head the number of banks that belong to holding companies, but it is obviously quite a number. We will provide a figure and I will circulate it to all noble Lords who have participated in the Committee. The category includes RBS and HBOS, and there are a number of others. I assure the noble Baroness that I will answer that question fully in due course, certainly before Report.

The noble Baroness made a great deal of the fact that these increased powers, which the Government are convinced are necessary in view of the problem in operating the resolution procedure, may make the United Kingdom an unattractive place for holding companies. I do not think that the United Kingdom is setting out to be an attractive place for holding companies that contain potentially failing banks. Let us remember the context of the Bill—it deals only with the circumstances in which failure has occurred. The Government's concern should be to ensure the encouragement of successful enterprises in this country. With regard to the Bill, we have to address ourselves to where there are failures.